Throughout the Biden-led debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans have held firm on one central demand: Tax increases must be off the table. After the GOP walked away from that table last week, the president finally agreed to enter the fray, asking both sides to accept concessions:
President Barack Obama made his first direct foray into the deficit negotiations Monday. He met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office for about 30 minutes Monday morning, and planned to meet with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in the early evening.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama's meeting with Reid was "constructive" and the president concluded that there are still opportunities for a deal to be reached. But he said the only way to achieve that objective would be to include tax increases or the elimination of tax breaks for big companies and wealthy individuals. "It's the only way to get it done," Carney said.